Halle-Bration, the city’s largest free holiday festival, drew more than 1,000 visitors in 2018. Photo provided
By Linda Wright
Halle–Bration, the city’s largest free holiday festival and market will be Friday and Saturday, December 13 to14. Friday, hours are 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at New Vision UMC, 4400 Reading Road, 45229. The event is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required.
For the second year, our joyous celebration of the holiday season begins with a Friday evening session, featuring entertainment, education sessions and shopping at the more than 60 vendor booths. From 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a Jazz Social Hour featuring Jazz Saxophonist Ed “SAX” Thomas and The Muzic Company on the main stage, along with finger foods, delicious nonalcoholic “mocktails,” fun and fellowship.
Also, on Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Mercy Health will present a ManUP Men’s Prostate Health session and Closing the Health Gap will present a Black Women’s Health workshop.
On Saturday, those who visit will enjoy a full day of unique gift shopping at more than 60 vendor booths on two floors, great food concessions, free entertainment provided by at least seven acts, children’s crafts and activities, a visit from Santa Claus, free toys for children who attend and a Community Business Showcase, highlighting African American–owned service businesses. More than 1,500 people are expected to attend.
“We call it Halle–Bration because it’s a hallelujah celebration of the holidays,” explained Kathye Lewis Norman, event co-chair. “It’s a huge Christmas holiday marketplace and festival, with clothing, hats, handbags, specially designed ornaments and unique gifts. We don’t call it a Christmas bazaar, because a bazaar is associated with small craft items. We screen our vendors and the merchandise they will offer, to make sure everything is very high–quality. We don’t have duplicate booths either.”
Presenters of the event are: New Vision UMC, the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the Collective Empowerment Group of Cincinnati. The lead sponsor is Fifth Third Bank; gold level sponsors are US Bank and Mercy Health First; silver sponsors are Closing the Health Gap and Union and Guardian Savings Bank; and bronze is UC Health; media sponsor is The Cincinnati Herald.
Purpose of the seventh annual event is to provide a free family–friendly community event celebrating the Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s holiday season, along with providing a showcase of Greater Cincinnati African American–owned businesses in the Community Business Showcase.
The event started in 2013 with 30 vendors and about 200 people in attendance. It has grown each year, as more families hear about it, and more vendors want to come and display their wares for holiday shoppers.
It’s an event like no other in the city. Edibles and Such will provide scrumptious food concessions. The vendors will display their wares for sale, including Imagination Dolls, handcrafted Black dolls by Debbie Hillson; inspirational books and Bibles; women’s and men’s fashions; custom jewelry; and many baked delights like carrot cupcakes, pound cakes and New York–style cheesecake and more, in our Taste of Halle-Bration section.
No pre-registration needed. For vendor space or information, call 513 961-4817 or www.newvision-umc.org.